Career thief’s CCTV blunder

Richard Brown, jailed for two years and five months for growing cannabis and burgling a house.
Richard Brown, jailed for two years and five months for growing cannabis and burgling a house.
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A ‘CAREER burglar’ with 130 convictions was caught red-handed breaking into a South Yorkshire house when he looked straight into his victim’s CCTV camera, a court heard.

Richard Brown, aged 43, of Redscope Crescent, Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, stole cash and a jewellery box from the house on Ewers Road after forcing the back door.

Sheffield Crown Court heard drug addict Brown was on bail at the time of the burglary last month for growing up to £5,000 of cannabis in his flat.

Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said police went to his flat just before 9.20pm on December 27 last year after being called to a domestic.

She said they found six mature cannabis plants behind a black plastic curtain.

The plants would have produced 516 grams of cannabis with a street value of between £3,500 and £5,000.

Brown appeared before magistrates in April and was granted unconditional bail.

Five days later, he broke into the house on Ewers Road.

“The lady living in the house had been burgled on previous occasions and had a CCTV camera and alarm system installed,” Ms Martin said.

The woman left for work but received a text message from a neighbour saying the alarm had been set off.

She returned home to find a jewellery box and £55 in cash had been taken from her bedroom.

Brown was identified from CCTV footage, and when arrested told officers: “Well, I did look at the camera.”

Sheffield Crown Court heard he was heavily in debt and needed money to fund his drug habit.

Gurdial Singh, defending, described him as a ‘career burglar.’

He said Brown first appeared in court when he was 12.

Judge Mr Justice Openshaw said Brown had a “very bad criminal record” but had made efforts to curb his drug addiction.

“He looked into the CCTV camera not knowing of the consequences,” he added.

Brown admitted burglary and production of cannabis.

He was jailed for two years and five months for the burglary and four months for the drugs offence, to run concurrently.